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San Diego Symphony’s Rady Shell amphitheater opens for premier season

the Shell_Spring2021.jpg
Posted at 12:17 PM, Aug 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-05 15:19:37-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — After a delay due to the pandemic, San Diego Symphony’s Rady Shell at Jacobs Park held a ribbon-cutting to officially mark the launch of their inaugural season.

The $85-million project started as an idea 18 years ago, then plans really picked up in 2015. It was set to debut in the summer of 2020, but the pandemic delayed that opening. On Aug. 5, 2021, the ribbon-cutting was held ahead of the first concert on Aug. 6.

The Shell’s venue is unique due to its waterfront location and also the two acoustic systems built in that allow musicians to hear each other on stage.

San Diego Symphony Orchestra Jazz Curator Gilbert Castellanos played his trumpet during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. He said he’s played at the Hollywood Bowl, but this venue tops that.

RELATED: San Diego Symphony unveils concerts at The Rady Shell

“Look at the view, look at the environment you’re in. It’s just astonishing and not only that but this is the state-of-the-art sound system. I play the trumpet so when I’m playing in this environment you can really create the natural sound of the instrument which is really hard to do in a lot of venues,” said Castellanos.

In addition to the sounds, the sights of the venue will be eye-catching. White canvas creates a blank slate for projections, plus 3,200 lights that can be individually programmed to hide beneath that surface, allowing light displays during the shows.

“When you activate multiple senses it makes an even bigger impact so visual and sonic, so that’s an exciting part,” said San Diego Symphony CEO Martha Gilmer.

Gilmer added that even though there was a delay, the creators stayed motivated.

“It was a beacon to all of us through this last year of real joy and I think that it was something to work toward knowing that we would be able to come together again,” said Gilmer.

When the venue is not hosting concerts, it will be a park that’s open to the public. It will be open 365 days a year.

Some artists set to perform on stage in the debut season include Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, Jason Mraz, and also various performances from the symphony. Tickets can be found here.